Sunday 4 November 2012

Guru has some BIG FUN with Skylanders GIANTS!!

PS3/Xbox 360/Wii/3DS
Single & Multiplayer
Rated: G

No one in the known universe could argue against the fact that the original Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure was an absolutely HUUUUUUUUGE hit! In fact, it's one of Guru's fave games of All Time - a blockbuster fusion of collectible figurines and videogame, a brilliant innovation which proved to be a real winner!

It's not surprising then, that the sequel Skylanders: Giants is nothing short of fantastic!!! Recently, Guru was lucky enough to score a copy of the Starter Pack thanks to his good pals at Activision (thanks Tash) and he hasn't stopped playing since - hence the tardiness of this review. Guru was totally blown-away by the new Skylanders game. To sum it up in two words - it's FREAKIN' AWESOME!!!

As the name suggests, the new Skylanders not only introduces a bunch of wild and wacky new characters, but eight of them are actually Giants... And when Guru says they're Giants, he means the collectible character figures are double-the-size of normal Skylanders. They also appear that way in the game too - This is BIG, really, really BIG!!! 

There are around forty-eight new characters to get your hot little hands on including some way-cool re-designs of old faves (Trigger Happy looks crazier than ever, sporting a Gattling Gun) & new LightCore Skylanders that actually glow! Guru's been playing around with a bunch of them over the last week or so and he's gotta say he's uber-impressed!!! Cooler still, the characters from the original Skylanders can be used in Giants and retain all of their abilities, except now, they all have an extended Level Cap of 15. Great  news for fans of the original game with extensive Skylander character collections!

Guru had a real blast putting the Giant known as Tree Rex through his paces. It's way-cool having a gargantuan Skylander that might move a bit slower, but is hugely powerful and can unleash absolutely tons of destruction in the gameworld. Tree Rex literally eats up the screen, effortlessly pounding down the opposition (and anything else) with his massive tree-trunk fists and unstoppable shoulder charges!

Then there's Jet Vac a bird-beast warrior that sucks big time - but in a good way! This ballistic buzzard is a force to be reckoned with, sporting super suction abilities made possible with his vacuum gun. Honestly, Guru wishes this guy would come over to his place and clean up his bedroom and Man Cave (a.k.a. Games Room) with his super sucker, 'coz trust us, it needs it!

Guru also checked out the different Elemental Arenas for a bit of competitive and co-op biffo with his good friend Joshinator, not to mention, some brilliant co-op action and adventure in the Story Mode. Almost everything in Skylanders Giants is bigger and better than the original, making it an awesome gaming experience for the whole family. 

This is easily one of the best kid's games this year, so it's time to dust off those Portals of Power, and get set for one of the most exciting and fun Action RPG (Role Playing Game) experiences that can be had on console. With another brilliant batch of cool figurines to collect (the 2 standard figs, 1 Giant in the Starter Pack will get you going), Skylanders Giants is a MUST HAVE for everyone’s X-mas wish list - Be sure to check it out!!!

Thursday 1 November 2012

World of Books Finally Launches in Australia - It's a Way Cool way to Read & Recycle!!!

If there's one thing Guru loves as much as gaming, it's reading and watching flicks... I guess it's got something to do with being a writer. Wanna be a good writer? Well you've gotta be an avid reader... it teaches you how to write, what works, what doesn't, inspires imagination, and increases your vocab - all extremely important for budding writers.

So, why is someone called Game Guru going on about reading and writing? Well it's interesting where these skills can lead you career-wise. Often it becomes an exciting adventure full of unexpected surprises. For instance, I fell into writing game and tech reviews for a kid's and teen audience completely by accident, while I was working in publishing. Next thing I knew it was a career... I was writing for a bunch of titles for both Youth and Adult audiences. Then I became editor of two gaming mags - G@MER and G@MER 4 Kids.

As Game Guru gained a bit of a cult following, so the next step was to set-up a website/blog. Now finally Guru has completed his first videogame script (stay tuned, for more about this Top Secret project soon!) and is working on his first novel, set in the wonderful world of videogames!!! All of this happened, and it's all a direct result of Guru's love of reading and books! 

So it begs the question, where does Guru get his books from? Well, there's always the library, but Guru tends to be a bit slack in returning stuff, so personally he prefers to buy his own books and then keep them as reference for future use in his extensive collection. However, like most of you dear readers, money can be an issue at the best of times, so Guru has taken to purchasing second-hand (a.k.a. pre-loved) books. One of the main sources Guru uses for his book purchases is World of Books, which until recently was a UK based company. The good news is, they've just launched here in Australia and in addition to having a great selection of books at discounted prices, they offer free shipping too!

So why use World of Books? Well, for a start it's an environmentally friendly solution for second-hand books. Pulping old books still expends energy, so if they can actually be used by someone else, it's better for the environment. Guru really digs the idea of recycling and green businesses, and World of Books seems to really fits the bill. It's a win/win for the consumer (cheap prices and free shipping) and the environment (books get re-used and don't have to be pulped or disposed of in land fill) - brilliant stuff!

Guru has already checked out the World of Books Aussie site, and he found tons of books for kids and teens, not to mention, heaps of books about everything from Videogames, Technology, Art, and Design, to Film, Graphic Novels, and Manga. If you're gonna buy some books, be sure to give 'em a try... Guru gives two big thumbs up!!!